Bluewater Health pausing some procedures, reopening COVID unit

Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia. (Photo by BWH from Facebook)

Bluewater Health is pausing select procedures in Sarnia and Petrolia as of January 11.

The hospital is reopening its COVID Unit as a precaution due to rising and increasing hospitalizations across the region. That’s resulting in staff being moved from other units.

Communications Chief Julia Oosterman said their criteria for reopening the COVID unit is to have 10 positive patients on site.

As of Thursday, the hospital reported seven COVID-positive patients in hospital, two were in the Intensive Care Unit.

“Today, we don’t have ten [positive patients] but we anticipate that will be happening in just a few short days,” said Oosterman. “It would be wonderful, frankly, if we don’t get to that capacity but we don’t want to be caught unaware. We have looked around the region and seen the patterns of what has been happening, and we know we’re usually about two weeks behind some larger centres. We do believe that it is a matter of time before our capacity will start to be a little more full than what we see today, so we needed to be ready.”

Oosterman said patients whose surgical procedure is affected will be notified by their specialist to cancel or reschedule their appointment.

The Pat Mailloux Eye Centre in Petrolia remains open at this time.

Some clinics at both hospitals may see reductions, and impacted patients will be notified to cancel or reschedule their procedures.

Bluewater Health implemented visitor restrictions on January 6.